Glass and Fruit was painted by George Braque in 1931. The painting is made of sand and oil on canvas without a fixative. This style makes the painting appear coarsely textured especially in the negative space. Today, the painting is owned and kept in St Louis Museum in the United States (Atheneum). The painting is one of the many works by Braque that blend cubism with still life. Painted more than 80 years ago, the painting represents a perfect still life image that employs contrast in detail to bring out an exquisitely colored masterpiece of the early 20th century.
The painting has five distinct elements. The most conspicuous form is the glass. The glass is full to the brim with a liquid that is apparently made of two shades, perhaps a cocktail. The other form is the fruit. There are two fruits placed alongside the glass. The two fruits are of the same size and type, although their colors are different. Other forms drawn in the painting are three circular objects that can be taken to be fruit seeds. The other form is a stoppered glass, although its base has been obscured by the glass. Lastly, there is wooden handle knife on which the two fruits are placed. All these form are placed on a wooden table. The focus of the painting is on the fruits, and especially the yellow fruit. The lines used in the painting are straight lines, both vertical and horizontal. Different lines meet at various vertices to make angles of various degrees. The table on which other elements are placed is polygonal. The predominant color in the painting is brown with at least five hues.
The central theme of this painting is contrast. Contrast has been illustrated through shapes, forms and colors. The glass containing the juice (presumed to be fruit juice) is made of the same material as the stoppered bottle in the painting. the stoppered bottle contains no colored liquid or its empty. The difference in the color of the two objects has been attributed by their contents. The two fruits in the painting are of the same size, although their colors are different. The fruits are used to contrast the outward difference that exists between ripe and unripe fruits. Still, the fruits are symbolic of a novel situation before any human intervention takes place. After the fruits are sliced using a knife, and their seeds are removed, their flesh can be minced to make a fruit juice cocktail capable of changing the natural color of another object.
The painting was painted in 1931. It uses two artistic devises: cubism and still life. Cubism was a form of artistic expression applied in a period from 1881-1963 depending on the artists country (Sabine). George Braque used cubism in this painting to avoid abstraction since the painting is designed to be figurative, depicting real objects used to convey some message. Still life artistry, like the one used in this painting, uses objects encountered on daily life like instruments, curtailer and food (Schapiro 204).
This painting uses color and contrast in detail to juxtapose two objects, situations or phenomena in an exquisite way. The painting was drawn using sand and canvas in the period when cubic expression was prevalent. Still life is also widely used in this painting by George Braque.
Athenaeum. Glass and Fruit. Web. Available at http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=101962 (May, 2013)
Rewald, Sabine. Cubism. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cube/hd_cube.htm (October 2004)
Schapiro, Meyer. "The Still Life as a Personal ObjectA Note on Heidegger and van Gogh." The Reach of Mind. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1968. 203-209.
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